Cincinnati @ Boston
Cincinnati +175 over Boston

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Posted at 10:30 AM EST and are subject to change. 

Cincinnati +175 over Boston

7:10 PM EST. Since opening the year with a 4-22 record, the Reds have gone 13-9 since but that awful start and poor record has them taking back inflated prices daily and we, therefore, see no reason to stop getting behind them. This is another game in which the price is bordering on absurdity.

Garrett Whitlock (RHP - BOS) is getting way too much credit here because of his 44 K’s in 39 innings to go along with his 3.49 ERA. Now, we’re not suggesting it’s a fluke but we’re strongly suggesting that his charmed life as a starter is not going to last. You see, Whitlock has done most of his damage as a reliever. Since his move to the rotation, his numbers are getting progressively worse. Over his last five games, all starts, he’s lasted 22 innings and while the K’s are still there (24 K’s in 22 IP), the swing and misses are down to 11%, the hard hit balls are up to 28% and his xERA has risen to 4.43. Whitlock’s swing and miss rate last game was 7.5%. The game before that it was 9.8%. In the game before that, it was 11.4%. Again, it’s getting progressively worse.

Whitlock made a rapid ascent from a Rule 5 in 2020 to a dominant reliever in 2021. An impressive array of skills mostly support it but again, there is a massive difference between starting and relieving and Boston is trying to turn him into a starter. This move to the rotation clouds his value, as relievers turn starters is a blowup waiting to happen.

We’ll keep playing Hunter Greene (RHP - CIN) as long as the take-backs look like this. Throw out his last game at Wrigley with the wind blowing out (a 20-5 Reds win, no less) and Hunter Greene had surrendered 8 hits in his previous 19 innings. Greene has 56 K’s in 44 innings. His ability to generate strikeouts has mostly been as advertised, with his vaunted four-seam fastball averaging 98.6 mph. But it has been his slider that has led the way on Ks, as he currently owns an 18.2% swing and miss rate on the pitch, compared to 11.9% on the fastball. Possibly related to that, his usage of those two pitches has shifted from April to May, as he's throwing his fastball less (60.7% in April, 47.4% in May) and his slider more (from 31.2% to 48.7%).

The control problems have been bad, though his K-BB% is still above average. A 39% Ball% suggests the walks have been deserved, though his 61% first-pitch strike rate is slightly above average. The issue has been worse against left-handed batters, against whom he has a 15% BB%. As long as he's walking nearly five batters per nine IP (4.9), he'll have a hard time keeping his ERA/xERA below 4.50 but as an underdog in this range and with the ability to throw a gem at any time, he and the Reds are worth playing again.

Our Pick

Cincinnati +175 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.50)